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Steakhouses in greater Phoenix area

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I'm taking my IT staff out for a steak dinner next week to thank them for their part in successfully moving our offices. We're in Chandler but we're willing to drive and my boss will get the bill. I'd like your thoughts on valley steakhouses, what stands out for you and why? Also, what about the old school places, besides Durant's are still worthwhile?

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  1. I am a Capital Grill person, was there on X-Mas eve, perfect.

    4 Replies
    1. re: duck833

      We had a recent mini-event at Capital Grill and they did a very good job, from service, to food, to wine. Group of about 13 and they hardly missed a beat. Mine was not the best tenderloin, that I have had, but was very good. Wine is a tad expensive, but that is about par for any "steakhouse." I'd take that group back again.

      Hunt

      1. re: duck833

        We ate at Capital Grille a couple months ago because I had a gift certificate from my boss and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal there. The service was incredible, and I enjoyed my espresso-rubbed steak a lot. I haven't tried any of the Mastros restaurants, but I have been to Morton's and thought Capital Grille was a lot better.

        1. re: duck833

          We just did a group of 20 at Capital Grill and it was very good. We actually reserved their wine room (24th St and Camelback location), and it was perfect for our group. Not the best steak in town, but very, very good. Everyone enjoyed it quite a bit.

          Barry

          1. re: barry

            We did a nice dinner there the night before my daughter's wedding also. Super service, I thought my steak was great, most of the guests were from Oregon. Better place than anything they had ever been to in Oregon. Nice room and good Karma.

        2. I posted on Durant's shortly after my rather disappointing trip there on Christmas Eve. It was truly disappointing.

          They hired a new Executive Chef who is making changes (include a ridiculous version of Chicken Cordon Bleu that ended up being bone-in chicken pieces wrapped in proscuitto) and a new price point that is about 30% higher on average than it was three to six months ago.

          I fired off a letter to the owner/GM and am waiting to hear back, but at this point, I am deeply saddened by the changes at Durant's.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Seth Chadwick

            I'm a big Don and Charlie's fan, too. The steak is always high quality, perfectly prepared (love that char crust!). And no matter how full I am, I must get the Goldbrick sundae to share. With extra sauce. It's like magic shell from when you were a kid...except delicious.

            1. re: Seth Chadwick

              I took Durant's off my list after you posted about that dinner. Please tell me they're still serving debris.

              1. re: AguasFrescas

                As I recall, the debris was still on the menu.

                1. re: Seth Chadwick

                  What is "the debris"?

                  1. re: Lolaclaire

                    Durant's Debris is a couple skewers of meat, the leftovers from trimming the steaks. My friends and I will get a table at the bar and order them with a couple sides. With their bread loaf it makes a great light dinner.

            2. Give Don and Charlie's, in Scottsdale, a serious look. It never seems to get any steakhouse love, but it's fantastic. As I recall, it got a stellar review last year by the Republic, for whatever that's worth. (Not much) Also, they have many other options if not everyone in your group is a carnivore. I've been going for over 20 years and it does have an old school feel but great food and drink.

              -----
              Don & Charlie's
              7501 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

              2 Replies
              1. re: ejs1492

                Don & Charlie's serves terrific steaks! I love it, especially since I'm a beisbol fan, but it it clearly less "elegante" than the high-end steakhouses. Not to mention, even though it's less of an haute experience, it can be a very tough table, especially during the winter/spring season.

                1. re: misohungrychewlow

                  Finally one of my favorite places gets some Chowhound love! It's about time.

              2. it's not a steakhouse per se, but i work in it and we had vendors take us to fogo y brasa - lots and lots of meat, brazilian steakhouse style. i LURVE it

                1. rokerij.... damn, i do love that place. it always seems to miss the love when people talk about steakhouses in the valley...

                  1. Along the Durant's line you can always go with Cork N Cleaver or Pink Pony. That is kind of in best to greatest in my opinion though. Durant's is king. I haven't been since the new chef took over I guess, so I don't know. I usually stick to the prime rib at all three though, and none of them have ever failed me.

                    I give Capital Grille a big, ugh! Good steak, but everything else has been hit or miss, including the service.

                    For more upscale Tomaso's is a great Italian steakhouse. Donovan's is good from my one experience there, but my gf's family swears by it.

                    1. I think the best steak houses in town are Donovan's and Drinkwater's. Both also have great rooms for big group dinner events. Capital Grill is a great location and very nice interior but the steaks are mediocre. They take average cuts of beef and cover them with a distracting sauce. Durant's is a cool venue but not a great steak.

                      1. A huge carnivore, I've eaten at some of the best steakhouses around the country, but we in Phx/Scottsdale are blessed to have many wonderful selections. Two locations of Capital Grille and two of Mastros compete with any steakhouse in the country. Try the Kona Rub on anything at Cap Grille; my favorite is always the bone in rib-eye, which is marbled to perfection. Every single person I've ever eaten with has tried my Kona Rub and it soon became their favorite as well. Donovans has phenomenal steaks too but I like the rubs, quiet ambience of Cap Grille the best. All locations of Mastros (Drinkwaters is now Mastros too) are very very noisy. Mastros does have great aged steaks. Cap Grille is more of a masculine decor although quiet. Mastros has more ambience and romance although it gets so noisy, it's hard to enjoy the romance. Donovans also has great steaks but the preparation isn't quite as excellent as Mastros and Cap Grille. Cap Grille & Mastros are markedly better than RC& Flemings; and a little better than Donovans or Smith & Wollensky.

                        Don't be misled by the many locations of Cap Grille around the country. I'm convinved it's because many carnivores like me who travel often, want a top-notch steakhouse wherever they go inthe country. Unless there's a renowned local steakhouse like Coepers in Milwaukee or Metropolitan Grille in Seattle, I'll always choose CapGrille. Enjoy!

                        Oh by the way, for those who never eat at Ruths Chris, beware of steak coming in a hot metal platter of boiling butter. Wayyyyyy too rich and who needs more fat added to a great marbled steak. And even if you order your steak rare, it is often overcooked because it sits and "frys" in the butter on your plate. UUUGH.